Hip-hop has grown from the streets of New York into a worldwide
phenomenon. Now one of its all-time greats, KRS-One, wants to take the
culture into the cosmos.
As part of his Temple of Hiphop's seventh annual Hip-Hop Appreciation
Week, KRS-One is organizing a Hip-Hop Cultural Conference to be
delivered at NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., on May 19.
The game plan is to bring in 100 students from the D.C. area —
possibly ranging from elementary- to college-age — to hear
members of the hip-hop community, social activists, spiritual leaders
and NASA scientists promote the powers of math and science.
"Nas is the keynote speaker," KRS said on Monday en route to a lecture
at the University of Illinois. "Chuck D will flank him. Afrika
Bambaataa is supposed to come as well."
The Temple of Hiphop's full lineup of participants is still being
finalized, and a spokesperson for NASA was unavailable for comment.
"It's a two-way marriage attracting more inner-city kids to the space
program," The Teacha said, expounding on the conference's agenda to
raise students' self-esteem and awareness. "I've had scientists tell me
NASA is not doing enough to attract the inner-city mind. Math and
science students are getting dissed [in school]. We want to make sure
kids with science minds are given sustenance. We want to show them that
they can have a career in science, math, engineering, physics and space
exploration. We want to raise children's interest. Why not get in on
the ground level right now?"
While KRS is also hoping to talk to NASA officials about including the
hip-hop community in the space program, the Blast Master isn't
considering pulling a Lance Bass and training to be an astronaut. Among
the initiatives he hopes NASA will consider is including hip-hop
memorabilia, such as albums, in space capsules.
Here on Earth, KRS continues to press on with a bevy of projects. He's
in talks with the University of Illinois about starting a program that
will advise professors on how to instruct a course that would teach
students the ins and outs of hip-hop culture. The Bronx's king of
battle raps also just finished his 13th LP, Get Right. The album
is scheduled for release in July and will include a DVD.
Hip-Hop Appreciation Week is scheduled for May 16-23 and commences with
a concert at D.C.'s 9:30 Club that will be headlined by KRS and fellow
mic legend Big Daddy Kane. For more information on the activities,